Article from For Liberty by Norm Leahy.

There has always been a strain of American political thought which has believed the best way to bring people together is through more and greater service to the state.

Call it “national service,” or “volunteering for America,” or, if they’re more honest, “the draft,” there’s a seemingly bottomless urge in some quarters to commandeer the time, energy, and talent of the nation’s young people and subject it to government control. This op-ed is typical of the genre:

National service has clear benefits. It changes the young people who participate, giving them new skills and a clearer path to college and career. It helps communities, providing extra hands for dealing with natural disasters, tutoring students or improving the environment. Perhaps its greatest benefit is reducing the social distance between “us” and “them” by creating opportunities for people from different backgrounds to work together.

Or even better, we could allow individuals to pursue their interests and reap the material, intellectual, spiritual, and other rewards for doing so. Cost to the government for doing so? Exactly zero dollars. Benefits to the individual, their families, neighborhoods, and communities? Nearly limitless.